Alleged drug dealer says he only sells to adults
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A male driver and a female passenger of a vehicle pulled over by police officers for a seat belt violation last month are now in custody after officers discovered illegal drugs, paraphernalia, and ammunition inside the vehicle.
The driver, Ricky Talosaga and the passenger, Sita Evalu made their initial appearance in District Court last month.
Talosaga is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth); one count of unlawful possession of meth with the intent to distribute, both felonies; along with one charge of possession of ammunitions, a class A misdemeanor.
Evalu is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony.
Talosaga’s bail is set at $20,000, and Evalu’s at $5,000.
During their initial appearance, both defendants waived their rights to a preliminary examination.
Their pretrial conference is set for October of this year after they each entered a not guilty plea to the charges against them during their arraignment in High Court last week.
The government claims that on the afternoon of July 23, 2021, police pulled over in front of a store in Vailoa a blue truck for speeding; and also noted that the driver was not wearing his seat belt.
When the truck was stopped, and cops approached it, the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Talosaga, had already exited the truck, with a white plastic container in his hand.
Cops instructed Talosaga to get back inside the vehicle, but Talosaga refused and demanded to know why they had stopped his vehicle. He also asked police to show him a search warrant from the court it they are going to search his person and his vehicle. However, the matter was resolved calmly, with Talosaga getting back inside the vehicle per police instructions.
A female sitting in the passenger seat was later identified as Evalu, the co-defendant in this case, who had stepped out of the car and called out to Talosaga to come back and make things easy.
When asked for his driver’s license, Talosaga said he didn’t have it with him. His name was then run through the Office of Motor Vehicle’s (OMV) system and it turned out that his driver’s license expired over 2 years ago.
Police also checked the truck’s license plate and discovered that it did not belong to the truck.
Both Talosaga and Evalu were then asked to step out of the truck.
Talosaga was patted down per norm, where upon a small box of ammunition was found in his pocket, leading to his immediate arrest.
Cops also searched the white plastic container he had in his possession when his vehicle was pulled over, and cops allegedly discovered illegal drugs: 6 cut-up straws containing white crystalline substance, inside a medium ziploc baggie; 13 empty cut-up straw; and 20 stamp-sized baggies containing white crystalline substance inside another medium plastic baggie, and drug paraphernalia, as well as live ammunition belonging to a .38 caliber weapon.
A glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance was discovered in the vehicle between the driver’s and the passenger’s seat.
Evalu was patted down by a female cop and a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance was discovered in her pants pocket.
Both Talosaga and Evalu were taken to the Tafuna Police Station (TPS) for questioning where they were taken to different rooms for interviews.
When asked about the glass pipe discovered in her possession, Evalu told police that the glass pipe belonged to her. She further stated that she got the pipe from a male friend.
When asked about the illegal drugs, paraphernalia, handgun and ammunition discovered in his possession and in his vehicle, Talosaga told investigators that everything that was in the black bag and the vehicle belonged to him. He also admitted to police that he owned the box containing ammunition.
In his written statement to investigators, Talosaga stated that he bought the drugs from a man in Vaitogi for the purpose of selling it to earn some money for him and his family. He said he’s been selling drugs for over a year now — and it’s a good and fast way to earn money.
He further told investigators that he only sold drugs to adults.